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We have built a floating deck attached to the rear of a brick house with a below-grade basement. Now, we have some rear basement well windows that the deck framing is built around. In order to still have some natural daylight come through the windows, we are looking to place some glass panels on the floor of the deck, above the well windows.

Questions:

  1. Is this stable? A glass calculator based on my dimensions of 38 inches X 20 inches X 1/2 inch thick states that the load can be > 600 lbs assuming supports are 3 ft. apart.
  2. On 3 sides (of the deck), we have built a wood bracket intended to support the tempered glass panel that is about an inch thick - in addition to this, we are planning to add a 4th edge bolted to the brick side, on the house building. Is this 4th edge necessary or can 3 edges be good enough to support this? Assuming that a person of reasonable weight (<250 lb) will be able to stand on it.
  3. If so, for the 4th edge, is there some kind of metal L-shaped bracket that can be bolted to the house building? I'm thinking of a bracket shaped like those used to support manhole covers, but my search for it hasn't yielded any results.

Here's a picture: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/386535580517360824/

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    Some pictures would really help with this. – JACK Aug 9 '19 at 19:57
  • Finally, someone who considers my weight normal... – Solar Mike Aug 9 '19 at 20:01
  • So did you re-run the calculation as your supports are more than 3ft apart? Or are you assuming a safety margin somewhere? – Solar Mike Aug 9 '19 at 20:06
  • With a 38 inch wide panel, and each support being an inch thick, they would be 3ft apart, wouldn't they? – rs79 Aug 9 '19 at 20:16
  • "floating deck attached to the rear of a brick house" Which is it, floating or attached? They are quite different in certain very key, fundamental ways. If it is designed as floating then you must NOT attach it to a building. And if it is designed as attached and turns out to be "floating" then there is something seriously wrong with the design or implementation. The answers to the glass support question will vary depending on whether the deck is floating or attached. – manassehkatz-Reinstate Monica Aug 9 '19 at 20:26
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You can get angle iron at your local home improvement store. You would probably want to get some strip foam for padding. This can be as simple as strip closed cell foam for weather stripping around door frames, or it can be more of a rubberized material for better wear and less likely to compress. This can also be weather stripping for doors.

I'd go with at least 1" steel angle, which will deflect much less than 1/2". If you really want support, go for 1-1/2" steel angle or 1" steel square tube. The larger angle might not be as readily available, but the square tube can probably still be sourced at home improvement stores. I know Lowe's, Menards, Ace Hardware, and Home Depot generally carry the 1" angle and the 1" square tube.

It's mild steel, so paint it or it's likely to rust. Even though it's "mild" steel, it should still provide plenty of support for the glass. Seeing as the glass shouldn't deflect at less than 600 lbs. anyway, this is more for looks and your own piece of mind, rather than structure.

Also, I'd support it from the deck, not the house. Even though the deck is attached, there can still be some movement between the two. You don't want the glass panel to become a tripping hazard when/if the deck sinks even 1/4". I'd also use lag bolts. In my experience nails have a tendency to work their way out. Deck screws might be enough, but they also might not be. With lag bolts, one on each end should be more than enough and aren't likely to ever come out.

  • Why not get the support in stainless - reduces any maintenance issues especially for surfaces that can't be reached once installed. – Solar Mike Aug 10 '19 at 6:51
  • @SolarMike, absolutely stainless would work. I didn't even think about that, mostly because I didn't realize stainless came in angle or square tube. – computercarguy Aug 12 '19 at 15:44

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